Bile duct injuries (BDI) in the advanced laparoscopic cholecystectomy era

  • Christopher W. MangieriEmail author
  • Bryan P. Hendren
  • Matthew A. Strode
  • Bradley C. Bandera
  • Byron J. Faler



Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the most commonly performed laparoscopic procedure. It is superior in nearly every regard compared to open cholecystectomies. The one significant aspect where the laparoscopic approach is inferior regards the association with bile duct injuries (BDI). The BDI rate with laparoscopic cholecystectomy is approximately 0.5%; nearly triple the rate compared to the open approach. We propose that 0.5% BDI rate with the laparoscopic approach is no longer accurate.


The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) registry was retrospectively reviewed. All laparoscopic cholecystectomies performed between 2012 and 2016 were extracted. A total of 217,774 cases meeting inclusion criteria were analyzed. The primary data points were the overall BDI incidence rate and time of diagnosis. BDI were identified by ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes. Secondary data points were variables associated with BDI.


The BDI rate was 0.19%. 77% of cases were diagnosed after the index surgical admission. Intra-operative cholangiography (IOC) use was associated with a higher BDI rate and higher identification rate of a BDI intraoperatively (P value < 0.0001). Resident teaching cases were protective with a RR score of 0.56 (P value < 0.0001). The presence of cholecystitis increased the risk of a BDI with a RR score of 1.20 (P value < 0.0001). There was a low conversion rate of 0.04% however converted cases had a nearly hundredfold increase in BDI at 15% (P value < 0.0001).


The performance of laparoscopic cholecystectomies in North America is no longer associated with higher BDI rates compared to open. IOC use still is not protective against BDI, and cholecystitis continues to be a risk factor for BDI. When a cholecystectomy requires conversion from a laparoscopic to an open approach the BDI increases a hundredfold; which may raise the concern if this approach is still a safe bailout method for a difficult laparoscopic dissection.


Bile duct injury BDI Laparoscopic cholecystectomy Procedural safety 


Compliance with ethical standards


Drs. Christopher W. Mangieri, Bryan P. Hendren, Matthew A. Strode, Bradley C. Bandera, and Byron J. Faler have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher W. Mangieri
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Bryan P. Hendren
    • 1
  • Matthew A. Strode
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bradley C. Bandera
    • 1
  • Byron J. Faler
    • 1
  1. 1.Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center (DDEAMC)Fort GordonUSA
  2. 2.Roswell Park Cancer InstituteBuffaloUSA
  3. 3.General Surgery DepartmentDwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center (DDEAMC)Fort GordonUSA

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